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July 31, 2003

Out of the Closet: For Howard Dean

As I’ve mentioned infrequently, I’ve been doing some volunteer work for the Howard Dean campaign for the past few months. I now have an official title — “Senior Internet Advisor” — so I figure I should come out of the closet entirely.

The title formalizes what I’ve been doing so far: Sundry writing for the campaign and talking with them about Net issues. I’ve also done a little speaking on behalf of the campaign — well, once, substituting for Joe Trippi, the campaign manager, at a panel in DC on the Internet and democracy. Now I’ll be doing more writing, advising and speaking for the campaign. I’m thrilled, of course.

Why Dean? Because he’s the candidate closest to my views who can beat Bush. The Dean campaign has been doing an astounding job of energizing a base of voters who haven’t cared enough to come to the polls before. I like that strategy a lot better than trying to get 51% of the center by out-Bushing Bush.

And no campaign has ever gotten the Internet so right. They aren’t just working the email lists and using the Net as a way to drive down the cost of mass politicking. From Joe Trippi on down they “get” the Net. They understand that it’s about giving voice to the “ends” of the Net (AKA us), that it means they lose some control of their message, that they need to enable groups to self-organize, that it’s about listening and conversations more than about center-out broadcasting. This is an end-to-end campaign. The staff is webby to the core. If you met ‘em, you’d love ‘em.

So, yeah, I’m for Dean. And I’m proud and a-tingle at being to help in some little way.

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Chris Lydon on a Roll

Christopher Lydon continues to invent our expectations for audioblogging. Elaine Scarry, Steve Kinzler, the InstaPundit … this stuff is coming at us like an on-demand radio interview show.

Because I’m on an AOLousy dialup connection this week, I haven’t been able to listen, but I listened to Chris’ interviews for years on “The Connection” so I feel real confident in recommending them even without having heard them.

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Lear in the Berkshires

Over at BlogCritics I’ve blogged a review of Shakespeare & Co.’s production of “King Lear.”

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July 30, 2003

VoIP: Threat or Danger?

The FBI apparently wants to be able to wire tap Internet phone calls by bugging ISPs. But, because phone call bits look just like every other type of bit, this would enable — or require — the FBI to tap all the Internet packets going to or from a particular tappee.

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Listen to Small Pieces

You can listen to tracks from the CD called “Small Pieces Loosely Joined” here. (Thanks to Michael O’Connor Clarke.)

I’ve written to the composer, Vert, to see if it‘s just a coincidence…

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Semantic Web

I like what Earl Mardle has to say about the Semantic Web.

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July 29, 2003

Needed: Free SMTP

I’m away from home for 2 weeks and the free SMTP server I’d been using – softhome.com – seems to have gone belly up. Does anyone know of a reliable free server I can use to send email via Outlook? I just signed up for HotPOP but it’s succeeding at sending mail about one in ten times. H-e-e-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l-lp!

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Buy terrorists low, sell high!

Here’s an image from the terrorist futures market that you’ve undoubtedly been reading about. No, it isn’t a joke. It lists:

Jordan King overthrown 4th Quarter: $0.24
N. Korea Missile Attack 4th Quarter: $0.15
U.S. Recog. Palestine 1st 04: $0.32
Arafat Assassinated 1st 04: $0.17

(Thanks to Gary Unblinking Stock for the link.)

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Developing Pollution

Last night, a friend who’s 35-40 years old told me that when he went to high school in Rochester, NY, the water was so polluted by Eastman Kodak that a friend’s science fair experiment consisted of developing film by using water from the local river.

Now that’s a science fair project!

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Help with Movable Type?

Martin Jensen is having trouble installing Movable Type because of the vagaries of his host. He’s trying to create a site that will help the “trainwreck” he sees coming to the health care industry because of HIPAA. If there are any MT experts around who’d like to give Martin a hand, you can email him here. (There are some more details in his contribution to discussion board.)

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